•About this Yokai•
Ohaguro-Bettari – (お歯黒べったり) – “NOTHING BUT BLACK TEETH.”
a Giggling Noppera-bo (faceless ghost) dressed in a beautiful kimono, sometimes a traditional brides outfit. – She waits near shrines at dusk for lonely single men to approach her, when they do get close, she turns around, takes their hand & reveals her face... The eerie cackle of laughter echoes in the evening darkness and her beautiful grin seals their fate.
•History and Early Appearances•
[Ohaguro bettari is originally from 1841 Ehon Hyaku Monogatari - in modern tellings its often said to be a bride – however the initial story does not mention that, and certain buddhist sects (Jōdo Shinshū) also wore a similar head piece to do prayers too. Early monster dictionaries mention that she was "the ghost of a woman who died before marriage or resented their marriage." (so, its hard to say for sure!) As with Noppera-bo, its also said it could have been a transformed Tanuki or a Kitsune, playing a trick!]
"Ohaguro" or "teeth blackening" was a popular custom where in you dye your teeth black using a solution called Kanemizu (かねみず) "iron drink" - Coating the teeth with this liquid-- it actually helped to prevent both tooth and enamel decay! - it was very popular in Heian period Japan with aristocrats - Then when the Edo period came about Geisha and Peasants started to do it too:-- because at the time similarly to teeth whitening, it was beautiful!!! (think similarly to how you bleach your teeth to make them more white? It was as normal as that. -in particularly, it was popular with wives, but men did this as well! - Teeth blackening is still done in some places today (though it is far less common.) ..Unfortunately at the start of the Meji period, a lot of western travellers mistook this custom for bad hygiene/rotten teeth – Racist rumours began to spread that the Japanese had bad hygiene, so, on February 5, 1870, the government banned ohaguro and the process gradually became obsolete, the practice quickly died out and started to only be used for special occasions. -- In a bit of Irony: recently here in the west the custom of using "black charcoal toothpaste" has also became popular recently as well.. (supposedly good for you but it looks just as scary) I've also seen tictoks where people have been filing their teeth for that 'vampire' look - Please don't do that: seriously.. your enamel wont grow back!!
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo thats me!) - Part of my Night parade of 100 Demons - Yokai & Japanese folklore sticker collection, weather-resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!